Difference between revisions of "Mississippi State Senate"

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==Ethics and transparency==
==Ethics and transparency==
===Open States Transparency===
{{Transparency card|State=Mississippi|Grade=B}}
{{Transparency card|State=Mississippi|Grade=B}}

Revision as of 11:57, 9 July 2013

Mississippi State Senate

Seal of Mississippi.jpg
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Tate Reeves, (R)
Members:  52
   Democratic Party (20) Republican Party (32)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art V, Mississippi Constitution
Salary:   $10,000./year + per diem
Last Election:  November 8, 2011 (52 seats)
Next election:  November 3, 2015 (52 seats)
Redistricting:  Mississippi Legislature has control
The Mississippi Senate is the upper house of the Mississippi Legislature. Each member represents an average of 57,063 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 54,705 residents.[2] There are 52 senators, each serving a district indicated by number. Senators serve four-year terms, without term limits.

As of April 2015, Mississippi is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article IV of the Mississippi Constitution establishes when the Mississippi State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to meet. Section 36 of Article IV states that the legislature is to convene in regular session on the Tuesday following the first Monday in January of each year. Section 36 limits the length of regular sessions to ninety calendar days, except for once every four years when the regular session can last up to one hundred twenty-five calendar days. The most recent one hundred twenty-five day session was in 2008, and the next session of this kind was in 2012.

Section 36 also allows the Legislature to extend its sessions for thirty days by a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses. There is no limit on the number of times a session can be extended in this way. In 2010, the Legislature extended its session once, moving the date of adjournment from April 3rd to May 3rd.

Article V of the Mississippi Constitution gives the Governor of Mississippi the power to call the Legislature into extraordinary session. Section 121 of Article V enumerates this power.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through April 7.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included creating a budget, charter schools, and medicaid expansion.[3]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 3 through May 3.[4]


In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 4 through April 7. [5]


In 2010, the Senate was originally scheduled to be in session from January 5th to April 3rd. However, the session was extended to May 3rd. Additionally, a special session was held that convened on April 22nd and adjourned on April 23rd.[6]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Mississippi was given a grade of B in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[7]


All 52 state senate seats come up for re-election every four years in the year that immediately precedes a U.S. Presidential election.[8] Mississippi is one of only four states to hold elections during odd years. While the three other states -- Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia -- have specific instances that triggered the shift to off-year elections, a reason remains unclear in Mississippi.[9]

To run for the office of state senator, a person must have been a qualified elector of the state for four years, be at least 25 years old, and have been an actual resident of the senate district he or she will represent for at least two years prior to the election. § 42 of Article IV of the Mississippi Constitution governs eligibility.

Elections were held most recently in 2007, and were held again, for all 52 state senate seats, in November 2011.


See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2011
See also: Mississippi state legislative special elections, 2011

Elections for the office of Mississippi's state senators were held in Mississippi on November 8, 2011.


In 2007, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $5,740,791 in campaign contributions.

Year Number of candidates Total contributions
2007 119 $5,740,791
2003 144 $3,676,844

The top 10 contributors were:[10]


In order to run for the Mississippi State Senate, a candidate must:

  • Be 25 years of age or older.
  • Be a qualified elector and resident of the State of Mississippi for four years.
  • Be a resident of the county or district a candidate plans to represent for two years.
  • If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay a $15 filing fee to the party's State Executive Committee the candidate is affiliated with.
  • If running as an independent, submit 50 signatures to the Circuit Clerk or the Secretary of State[11].


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the Senate, a special election is required to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must call for an election no later than 30 days after the vacancy happened. After the Governor sets the election date, the counties conducting the election must give no less than 45 days public notice. All qualifying deadlines are 30 days before the election[12].

No special election is held if the vacancy happens after June 1st in an election year[13].

Constitutional basis

According to the current Mississippi Constitution, the Senate is to be composed of no more than 52 members elected for four-year terms. Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November during the state general elections.

The Senate is composed of 52 Senators representing an equal amount of constituent districts, with 54,704 people per district (2000 figures). Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments.


See also: Redistricting in Mississippi

The five-member Standing Joint Reapportionment Committee handles redistricting, with no veto power afforded to the Governor. Should it fail to finalize a plan on time, a backup commission -- composed of the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Majority Leaders of both legislative chambers -- would take over the process. Mississippi is required to have its maps pre-cleared by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act.

2010 census

Mississippi received its local census data on February 3, 2011. The state's population grew 4.3 percent, with several of its well-known cities (Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi) losing as much as 13 percent. Most of the state's population loss was in the north-central region and along the western edge.

Republicans controlled the Legislature and governorship at the time of redistricting. Because Mississippi holds legislative elections in odd-numbered years, the legislature was given a tight deadline -- June 1, 2011 -- for redistricting in time for the 2011 elections while allowing 60 days of review by the DOJ. The deadline passed without a plan, meaning any new maps would not take effect until 2015. Elections were held with the previous maps, and the House passed a new map in April 2012, with the Senate following in May.[14] The Senate plan pits Democratic incumbents Bill Stone and Nickey Browning against each other. As of August 18, 2012, the maps were still with the Department of Justice for pre-clearance.[15]



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Mississippi legislature are paid $10,000/year. Per diem is $109/day tied to the federal rate.[16]

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 20
     Republican Party 32
Total 52

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Mississippi State Senate from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Mississippi State Senate.PNG

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Mississippi legislators assume office the first day of the regular session of the year following election. The Constitution requires the Legislature to convene yearly on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January.


The Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi acts as President of the Senate and is given the right to cast a vote in the 52 member State Senate in case of a tie.[17]

There are no majority or minority leaders in the Senate.

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Mississippi State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Tate Reeves Ends.png Republican
State Senate President Pro Tempore Terry Brown Ends.png Republican

Current members

Current members, Mississippi State Senate
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Chris Massey Ends.png Republican 2012
2 Bill Stone Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
3 Nickey Browning Ends.png Republican 1996
4 Rita Parks Ends.png Republican 2012
5 J. P. Wilemon Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
6 Nancy Adams Collins Ends.png Republican 2011
7 Hob Bryan Electiondot.png Democratic 1984
8 Russell Jolly Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
9 Gray Tollison Ends.png Republican 1996
10 Steve Hale Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
11 Robert Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
12 Derrick Simmons Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
13 Willie Simmons Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
14 Lydia Chassaniol Ends.png Republican 2008
15 Gary Jackson Ends.png Republican 2004
16 Angela Turner Lairy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
17 Terry W. Brown Ends.png Republican 2004
18 Giles Ward Ends.png Republican 2008
19 David Parker Ends.png Republican 2012
20 Josh Harkins Ends.png Republican 2012
21 Kenneth Jones Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
22 Eugene Clarke Ends.png Republican 2004
23 Briggs Hopson Ends.png Republican 2008
24 David Jordan Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
25 William Longwitz Ends.png Republican 2012
26 John Horhn Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
27 Hillman Frazier Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
28 Sollie Norwood Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
29 David Blount Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
30 Dean Kirby Ends.png Republican 1992
31 Terry Burton Ends.png Republican 1992
32 Sampson Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
33 Videt Carmichael Ends.png Republican 2000
34 Haskins Montgomery Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
35 Perry Lee Ends.png Republican 2004
36 Albert Butler Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
37 Melanie Sojourner Ends.png Republican 2012
38 Kelvin Butler Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
39 Sally Doty Ends.png Republican 2012
40 Angela Hill Ends.png Republican 2012
41 Joey Fillingane Ends.png Republican 2008
42 Chris McDaniel Ends.png Republican 2008
43 Phillip Gandy Ends.png Republican 2012
44 John Polk Ends.png Republican 2012
45 Billy Hudson Ends.png Republican 2008
46 Philip Moran Ends.png Republican 2012
47 Tony Smith Ends.png Republican 2012
48 Deborah Dawkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
49 Sean Tindell Ends.png Republican 2012
50 Thomas Gollott Ends.png Republican 1980
51 Michael Watson Ends.png Republican 2008
52 Brice Wiggins Ends.png Republican 2012

Senate Standing Committees

The Mississippi Senate has forty-three (43) standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Mississippi’’
Partisan breakdown of the Mississippi legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Mississippi State Senate for 18 years while the Republicans were the majority for four years. The Mississippi State Senate is one of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Mississippi senate to the Republican party with the last two years being Republican trifectas.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Mississippi, the Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Mississippi state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links